Revisiting the Kings of Rock

Ranking Linkin Park’s Studio Albums


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Linkin Park is a popular band characterized by their unique rap rock sound. Their lyrics have resonated with fans ever since the release of their first studio album Hybrid Theory.

A mark of many people’s childhoods, Linkin Park was and will remain one of the most successful rock bands in America (Yes, I know their music wasn’t just rock. Linkin Park stans don’t come for me). Following the death of lead singer Chester Bennington in 2017, there was a resurgence of love for Linkin Park and their music. I, on the other hand, have just recently rediscovered Linkin Park’s music, so what better way to analyze the longevity of their music than with a best to worst ranking of their seven studio albums.

7) ”A Thousand Suns”
This is Linkin Park’s fourth studio album and the midpoint of their career, and to be completely honest there’s not much to like about this album. “A Thousand Suns” really marked the band’s complete departure from their original sound, as they experimented with new sounds and styles, but this album received a lot of hate from longtime Linkin Park fans and I for one can absolutely see why. While I can respect Linkin Park’s attempt to throw every idea they could at the wall, nothing stuck for them. It’s a shame that they chose to insert this dumpster fire into the middle of an otherwise beautiful discography, but c’est la vie (such is life).

6) ”The Hunting Party”
Released in 2014, Linkin Park’s “The Hunting Party” is a pretty solid album. They decided to return to their original heavier rock sound with this one, and while it isn’t their greatest collection of music, it was definitely refreshing to hear something similar to the Linkin Park that fans like myself fell in love with. “Until it’s Gone” is definitely a highlight on the album, with “Final Masquerade” being one heck of an ending, and “All for Nothing” being my favorite song as Mike Shinoda absolutely killed the rapping part of the song, and the chorus is one of my favorites from Linkin Park.

5) ”Minutes To Midnight”
In their third studio album, Linkin Park does tiptoe away from their original sound, but in this album it’s more subtle and is actually pleasing to the ear for the most part. With that being said, “Shadow of the Day” has to be the most boring song that Linkin Park has made in their entire career. That song is what people should put on when they need something to listen to to help them fall asleep. Apart from that, though, this is a pretty good album with “Leave Out All the Rest” being a standout that brought tears to my eyes, especially after listening to it in the wake of Chester Bennington’s death. “What I’ve Done” is my choice for the best track on this album because the guitar coming in at the beginning is heavenly, and this combined with the relatable lyrics makes for a great song.

4) ”One More Light”
I’m sure that an avid Linkin Park fan would put this album much, MUCH lower on the list but hear me out. While in the past Linkin Park’s attempts at departing from their heavy rock sound had been unsuccessful, I think they did a very good job with this album. Many Linkin Park fans were very upset with this album as they accused Linkin Park of selling out and trying to become more mainstream. But I see “One More Light” in a, no pun intended, different light. To me, especially with it being their last studio project, “One More Light” is an album that really shows the growth and development of the band. Their earlier music was characterized by an angry sound and harsh lyrics, while this album was the opposite, almost as if they reached the resolution in their musical journey. “Heavy,” title track “One More Light” and “Invisible” are standouts as very emotion-filled, heart-felt songs on the album with “Talking to Myself” being my favorite song with its upbeat guitar melodies and catchy lyrics.

3) ”Living Things”
This album was a huge success as Linkin Park was able to take the best aspects from their previous four albums- their original music mixed with some of their experimental sounds- and produce a beautiful collection of songs. This album also addressed a number of personal topics with songs like “Victimized” and “Powerless.” “In My Remains,” “I’ll be Gone,” “Castle of Glass” and “Lost in the Echo” are all great songs on this album with “Burn it Down” standing out the most as my favorite song on the album.

2) ”Hybrid Theory”
Linkin Park’s first studio album will be coming in second place this time around, but in this case second is really like first and a half place because this album is utterly amazing. When I say “Papercut” is one of the best intros to an album I’ve ever heard as well as one of my top five favorite Linkin Park songs of all time, I mean it. The guitar on the song is absolutely insane, Mike Shinoda killed it as always, and the way Bennington yells the lyrics instead of singing them is the icing on the cake. Then you have “One Step Closer,” “With You” and “Points of Authority” all back to back and if that wasn’t good enough, you also have two Linkin Park classics on this album with “Crawling” and “In the End.” “A Place for My Head” is also a huge highlight on this album and has one of the catchiest Linkin Park choruses out of their entire discography. This is the album that introduced the world to Linkin Park, and man what a blessing that was.

1) ”Meteora”
Unfortunately I wasn’t alive yet when this album came out, but I can only imagine the uproar that such a masterpiece would have created. This album is one of my favorite collections of music on planet Earth, as Linkin Park not only picked up where they left off with “Hybrid Theory,” but somehow managed to just barely one up it. I also find this to be one of their most relatable collections of music and the perfect album to put on full blast and scream all the lyrics. You’ve got “Somewhere I Belong” which is also one of my top five favorite Linkin Park songs as the guitar and drum pairing in the song really is a perfect match accompanied by the second most screamable lyrics ever “I want to heal, I want to feel, what I thought was never real.” You’ve got “Lying from You” with the nastiest guitar intro in Linkin Park’s entire discography followed by “Hit the Floor,” “Easier to Run,” “Figure .09” and “Faint” with its beautifully iconic violin sounds. Afterwards we have “Breaking the Habit” and then “From the Inside,” the song with the most screamable lyrics ever: “TAKE EVERYTHING FROM THE INSIDE AND THROW IT ALL AWAY ‘CAUSE I SWEAR FOR THE LAST TIME I WON’T TRUST MYSELF WITH YOU.” Yes, it was very necessary for those lyrics to be in all caps. And for the cherry on top of this ice cream sundae of an album, we have arguably the most iconic Linkin Park song of all time for the closer “Numb.” This is one of the only albums across any genre that I would consider a no skip album. 11/10 fantastic piece of art.

Linkin Park has made music that has defined some peoples’ childhoods and their lyrics have resonated with millions. Although they are not currently making music anymore, they have left us with six (I’m sorry but I refuse to call “A Thousand Suns” anything other than trash, it’s so bad) beautifully crafted albums to feed our Linkin Park cravings.